A new calendar year always offers an opportunity for a fresh start and provides an additional pinch of motivation to banish some habits that have stopped serving you well (did they ever?).
Here are 12 things to leave behind if you want to foster a stronger, happier, more successful you in 2017.
1Procrastinating on your goals
Have you been thinking about travelling/switching jobs/getting healthier/starting business ventures?
Big dreams aside, have you put any actions in place to realise them? Putting things in motion is the only way to get somewhere. Otherwise, ask yourself if you do really want this thing that you’ve been talking about all this time.
2Stop fixating on the past
We all have our ‘what if’ moments, decisions we question or regrets we harbour. The secret is this though — it already happened and you can’t change it. But you can actively change the future, so rather than focusing on the past, invest in shaping the future you want to live out.
The world is becoming ever so connected and intertwined. Your actions and words impact the planet and the lives of others.
Empower those around you, give back to the community you feel inspired by and read about what’s happening in other parts of the world.
4Doing everything yourself
Being resilient, independent and driven are admirable traits, but you don’t have to do everything yourself.
People who ask others for help not only achieve things more efficiently and curb the likelihood of burning out, they also build strong networks of likeminded individuals that push them to grow and experience new things.
5Stop enabling toxic relationships
People can be likened to drains or faucets. Which are you involved with? Make the leap and cut out those who take up your time and energy without contributing to your success, growth and happiness.
6Working through lunches
Your body needs proper nourishment to keep you energised and in positive spirits throughout the day. So does your mind.
Taking even a 30-minute time-out during lunch to have a proper meal and give your brain a break from all of the work-related thoughts will keep you more productive and focused.
7Maintaining a casual clutter
Organising doesn’t come naturally to all of us, however if your work desk looks like it was hit by a paper avalanche and sticky notes coat all surrounding surfaces, it’s time to get minimalist.
For one, putting a system in place for filing your projects/important communication and maintaining a comprehensive agenda will increase your sense of composure and assertiveness. Also, you’ll be surprised by how much more manageable your daily workload will feel.
8Treating your online presence like a one-time investment
Sure, you set up your LinkedIn page or finally started a blog — but how often do you update them? Your brand (and reputation) doesn’t grow overnight.
Being consistent with your online properties allows you to add building blocks to your evolving career and increase exposure through algorithms built into the digital platforms tracking activity.
9Taking your free time for granted
After gruelling work-weeks it’s tempting to spend time off binging on movies or your favourite show, but time is finite, and it’s in your hands to make the most of it so weeks don’t blur as you’re going through the usual routine.
There’s no shame in killing two birds with one stone — pair long-discussed coffee plans that never manifest into reality with movies/concerts/art exhibitions that will serve as food for the soul and spirit, host a dinner party for friends, rather than booking individual outings or go on a weekend road trip to get out of the predictable social routines.
While you’re staying up late answering emails and tying loose ends to be more productive, you’re actually doing the opposite.
Apart from the myriad of health issues that continuous under sleeping has been linked to, it is also a significant contributor to deteriorating performance and cognitive functions. An odd late night aside, make sure you gift yourself proper sleep to be on top of your game.
11Thinking in negative terms
Phrases like “I can’t do…,” “I’m not good at …” and “I don’t know how to…” wire our brains to focus on our shortcomings and question our abilities and self-worth.
Instead, adopt a language that is empowering and solution-oriented, that highlights your willingness to learn and utilise your strengths to develop your skills.
12Waiting for big wins
Having ambitious goals is admirable, however the timeline associated with their realisation is generally lengthy, and involves a sequence of steps and goals. Don’t wait for that final puzzle piece to be put in place to feel like you’ve accomplished something.
Recognise that you are investing time and effort every day to bring yourself closer to your goal, and celebrate smaller achievements along the way. After all, it’s not as much about the destination, as it is about the journey!
Make A New Start In 2019
It’s nearly the start of a new year, and possibly a wise time to take stock of your life. Whether you are ready for a complete change or just want to take stock and empower or tweak one or more areas of your life.
People fall into a rut whenever what they do on a daily basis doesn’t align with their true highest values and offer satisfaction and meaning. A rut is a by-product of not giving yourself permission to go after what you truly want in life. The result? You feel trapped in something that is not fully gratifying and fulfilling.
Here are some tips to help you make a new start…
1. Work out what is truly most important to you
When your daily actions do not align with your highest values, you won’t be eager to get up in the morning. So what could you wisely do? Be sure you know what your top three highest values are – what is truly most important to you. For example, ask yourself:
- What energises you at work or at home?
- What is it that you love doing each day that also serves others?
- What do you always find money for and to do?
- In a social situation, what do you most frequently desire to talk about?
- What are the top three goals you’re persistently keen to achieve?
Pay close attention to what you are inspired by and what you spontaneously do each day and you will discover what you value most. Creating a life around your highest priorities and strategising your day in such a way to fulfill that is powerful.
2. Learn from your past reactions or actions
Although it’s unwise to dwell on the past and beat yourself up about any previous decisions, it is wise to reflect on what has most and least worked for you and view your previous actions as helpful feedback content for refinement. This can help you identify what might work more effectively for you in the future. For example, if your personal relationship is tense at the moment, is may be because you are projecting your personal values on to them and unwisely expecting them to live outside their own highest values. Or they may be doing this to you. Or you both may be doing this to each other.
If this is the case, perhaps it would be wise to ask yourself how is what they are dedicated to serving you and how is what you are dedicated to serving them? If you ask and answer those questions 20 times each you will end up with more communicative dialogues and less alternating monologues and tension.
If you applied for a new job and didn’t get or land it, take a look at what you might have done to get such a result, and what refinements you can do differently next time to help you get your desired outcome. Be honest with yourself. Then, think about how a different more refined outlook or action could help you achieve your desired outcome.
3. Learn to be SMART
SMART stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. You can apply these goals to both your personal and professional lives.
For instance, instead of setting a goal such as falling in love this year, rather consider a more likely or attainable goal. Subscribe to an online dating website, or ask your friends to set you up with someone. You could also join new groups and activities where you can meet new people. Or simply prioritise your actions, do what you love and live authentically, which is most attractive to someone who will match you. Then measure your success in attaining your goal by how many new people you meet and how productive and inspired you are.
Set realistic goals with actions you have true control over.
Set achievable goals, not improbable or unlikely ones! An example of an improbable goal is deciding that you’re going to win the lottery for wealth building purposes. Instead of this, which has a very small chance of coming true, why not look at your financial house and get it into order? Budget to save money to achieve your goal of having more, and also budget to spend money on appreciable investments more than depreciable consumables. Serve more and earn more so you can save more and invest more.
Also, don’t set yourself a radical goal to lose half your body weight in an unrealistic time frame – this may be unwise, unhealthy and unrealistic. Rather set yourself a more realistic goal of say, losing a kilo every week or fortnight, something that is more probable. Be realistic with your goals, rather than trying to achieve something unattainable. And don’t expect a quick fix. Rather set yourself smaller, more achievable goals, and then, when you meet them, you’ll feel more inspired to continue to expand them further.
Anxiety And Fear Are Superpowers: Embrace Them
Think that your fear and anxiety hinder your potential as an entrepreneur? It’s time to think again.
Nothing drives us to succeed as powerfully as the emotions of fear and anxiety. They are the true superpowers that define the entrepreneur. They can inspire change, define concerns and transform business ideals. Of course, as with anything in life, moderation is key. Too much of these emotions and you can be crippled, too little and then you may not be fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead. But a normal amount of anxiety is an opportunity to challenge yourself and take your business to the next level.
Want to know why? Here are three excellent reasons…
Reason 01: Answering the questions
Fear forces you to ask questions. Do I want to do this? What if that happens? How do I fix this problem if that does happen? What if I fail? These are serious questions and they can make you feel as if you’re about to tame the world’s largest dragon but what if you turned them on their head? What if you looked at these questions as opportunities to plan ahead? Stop looking for the bad, it may never happen, instead look the monster in the eye and name it. Then you are in control and prepared for what the future brings.
By recognising your fears as legitimate warnings of reasonable concerns, you are giving yourself the opportunity to prepare for the future. That is the power of fear.
Reason 02: The next step
Often companies are held back by fear. They deliver only what their business started out doing, not evolving alongside their customers or providing customers with what they want. A great analogy is when someone walks into a store to buy a 14-inch drill bit and the business owner sells him a 1/4-inch drill bit. They’re still selling a drill bit to the customer, but it isn’t the right one and won’t solve the customer’s problem.
Fear can stop a business from transitioning and this can hold you back. Recognising that this is a challenge for your business will allow you to look at your offerings with a fresh eye and challenge yourself. This is very important, especially in today’s market where people and businesses are being disrupted all the time.
Reason 03: What you’ve been told may not be true
The ancient story of Icharus flying too close to the sun has been driven home across fable and tale since the dawn of time. Everyone is told – don’t fly too high or you will run the risk of failure! The reality is that the story was designed to stop people from trying too hard because the higher you fly the colder it gets. Your wings won’t melt, they will be just fine no matter how high you go. So, try, spread your wings and you will very likely discover that you’re only just starting to embrace your potential.
The way forward
Set a goal you would like to achieve and write down what concerns you about it. Verbalise these concerns. You will find that when you verbalise fears you end up finding ways of preventing them, or fixing them. When your fears have names, they become easier to manage and control and they become tools to help you take your business forward into a bolder future.
Fear isn’t your enemy, it’s your weapon…
Want To Take Your Coding To The Next Level? Check Out These 7 Productivity Hacks
There’s so much on developers’ plates these days, but the good news is there are also awesome tools to help.
Between constantly designing, coding, testing, maintaining and updating, most developers likely feel that their work is never truly done.
As someone who has worked closely with developers, I can confirm that no matter which field of computer programming and technology these talented people inhabit, they’re constantly juggling new ideas with existing projects, responsibilities and spontaneous crises – which can change from minor to catastrophic in seconds.
Because of this, developers need to constantly update their arsenal of tools and keep a close eye on not just their workload, but their effectiveness at moving from task to task without sacrificing productivity.
To get the most out of limited time and resources, developers need solutions to help them minimise the time wasted and maximise their efforts. Here are seven of the best tools and hacks I can recommend to improve your development productivity and to get the most out of your work.
1. Automate your change-tracking
Tracking changes is vital to your company’s development projects, especially as code is rewritten, modified or added to daily. Manually tracking changes is not viable in massive projects and can lead to breakdowns and wasted time down the line. That’s where Git can help a developer: It’s a control-management tool designed to track changes in source code files and reduce the time developers spend looking for a clear history of changes.
Additionally, automating change logs lets developers create branching paths in directories. This means they can test several versions of the same idea without losing each one and having to start over. Git also allows every team member in a project to automatically track his or her local changes, which are then uploaded and distributed to everyone on the project directory.
2. Audit your open source code and close any vulnerabilities
The development and computer science community is increasingly embracing open source, as everyone from freelancers to corporations as large as Microsoft contribute to the world’s coding knowledge for free. Developers today simply can’t develop software at the pace needed, without open source. After all, why should any of us re-invent the wheel when we can simply download it from GitHub?
However, open source brings new security and compliance challenges, and currently most developers lack the necessary tools to handle these unique challenges alone.
Software composition analysis solutions, like WhiteSource, automate the process of selecting and approving open source components and send alerts in real time on security and compliance issues so that you can use open source freely without worry.
3. Refactor your code consistently
Aside from rewriting and making wholesale changes to your code, it’s important that you constantly ensure it’s written in the clearest and most efficient way possible. Especially for repositories that will be in widespread use – as with most major projects – clean code is a vital attribute of functionality and usability.
Refactoring code helps you accomplish three things: It keeps you familiar with the code you’re writing, improves the applicability potential for the code and makes it easier to maintain the code.
4. Leave your mouse behind
One of the hardest habits for developers to break is using their mouse. While a mouse is a vital peripheral for navigating your operating system, most IDEs and editors can and do work almost exclusively with a keyboard. Constantly switching between your mouse and keyboard can interrupt your flow, and usually means you’re browsing away from your IDE. Moreover, spending hundreds of hours coding and using a mouse for minute movements can hurt your wrist.
Instead, create keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys that remove the need to constantly shift your hands around. AutoHotKey, and other scripting languages like it can make it easier for you to automate actions into single hotkeys and key combinations. This can include anything from keystrokes to mouse clicks, menu selections and more.
5. Keep your projects in separate desktops
One of the biggest productivity roadblocks for developers is the number of screens, windows, editor tabs and other clutter they have open simultaneously on their desktops. It’s not uncommon to work on several projects at once while having a browser with multiple research tabs active, as well as messaging or project management tools open simultaneously. This makes it harder to find the right window, information and application and causes a lack of organisation and method.
Separating your projects, research and other uses of your time into separate virtual desktops can help you keep organised and streamline your productivity. You can better focus on the specifics of the task at hand. Most operating systems already have this option available. They include Windows 10, Mac OS X, and Linux – the three most popular operating systems for developers. You can even add to this concept by incorporating multiple physical displays to help you keep better track of the information you need while you work.
6. Build a code base and update it
The more you code and learn different languages, the harder it becomes to keep your knowledge fresh and easily accessible. It’s easy to forget small shortcuts and useful functions you’ve created in the past, and frustrating to spend hours trying to recreate code from scratch. Moreover, knowing useful functions can improve your productivity down the line by reducing the time you spend on smaller tasks.
Get into the habit of building a code base full of past programs; distinctive tools in the languages you use, including widgets and snippets; and functions that you can implement in a number of applications. You can use Git or Github repositories, or even keep things in programs like Evernote, which offers a code snippet feature.
7. Be conscious of your physical needs
The biggest mistake developers make is to think that working around the clock will improve productivity. It’s common to eat poorly, skip exercise and short yourself on adequate sleep while working, all of which is incredibly detrimental to your productivity and overall health. Instead, focus on doing things that improve your health and well-being, and you will notice a significant improvement in your work.
It’s so important to get a good amount of proper sleep, eat nutritious and good meals instead of snacking and be mindful of how much you’re working every day. More importantly, focusing on time away from your screen has the added benefit of helping “reboot” your mind by letting you focus on other things.
Find a balance between your work hours and time off, and make sure to keep your body and mind fit to ensure that you’re motivated, rested and productive.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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